A GIS Based Mapping of Seismic Parameters in Tectonically Active Mikir Massif Region of Assam, India

Manash Protim Baruah *

Geological Survey of India, Raipur, Chhattisgarh-492010, India.

Sachin Kumar

Mines & Geology Department, Vikash Bhawan, Bailey Rd., Patna, Bihar-800014, India.

Devojit Bezbaruah

Department of Applied Geology, Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam-786004, India.

Tapos Kumar Goswami

Department of Applied Geology, Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam-786004, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


The Mikir massif area of Assam is considered one of the deformed zones of the north-eastern region (NER) as demonstrated by its seismicity. The present study aims to study the active tectonics in the Mikir massif region with the help of hypocentral parameters, frequency–magnitude relation, and ‘b’ and ‘a’ values of earthquake events. The major structures and existing lineaments of the area are correlated with the seismicity pattern and areas having low seismicity and less heterogeneity has been demarcated based on seismic parameters. The seismicity in the area shows a higher concentration of earthquake events towards NW compared to other parts. The depth section of earthquake events along and across the regional faults shows that all the major structures and lineaments with distinct topographic expressions can be identified from the seismic profile. The activeness of those faults and lineaments can be accessed by the cluster of seismic events that occurred spatially and also at depth. Classification of the area into 4 different seismogenic zones shows higher values of seismic parameters (Mc, a, and b) for Zone A, followed by Zone C, Zone B, and Zone D. The higher seismicity associated with these zones is also confirmed by high lineament density in those areas. The lower b and a- value associated with Zone D implies that the area is seismotectonically stable with fewer numbers of seismic events and hence suitable for any civil engineering construction.

Keywords: Mikir massif, seismicity, a-value, b-value, NER

How to Cite

Baruah , M. P., Kumar , S., Bezbaruah , D., & Goswami, T. K. (2023). A GIS Based Mapping of Seismic Parameters in Tectonically Active Mikir Massif Region of Assam, India. Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International, 27(11), 29–46. https://doi.org/10.9734/jgeesi/2023/v27i11725


Download data is not yet available.


Sitharam TG, Sil A. Comprehensive seismic hazard assessment of Tripura and Mizoram states. J. Earth Syst. Sci. 2014; 123(4):837–857.

Kassaras I, Kapetanidis V, Ganas A, Tzanis A, Kosma C, Karakonstantis A, Valkaniotis S, Chailas S, Kouskouna V, Papadimitriou P. The New Seismotectonic Atlas of Greece (v1.0) and Its Implementation. Geosciences. 2020; 10:447.

BMTPC. Vulnerability atlas, Second Edn., peer group MOH & UPA, Seismic zones of India. 2003.

Sharma S, Sarma JN, Baruah S. Dynamics of Mikir hills plateau and its vicinity: Inferences on Kopili and Bomdila Faults in northeastern India through seismotectonics, gravity and magnetic anomalies. Annals of Geophysics. 2018;61(3):SE338.

Angelier J, Baruah S. Seismotectonics of northeast India: a stress analysis if focal mechanism solutions of earthquakes and its kinematic implications. Geophysical Journal International. 2009;178(1):303-326.

Nandy DR. Tectonics, seismicity and gravity of Northeastern India and adjoining region. Geol. Surv. India Mem. 1986;119:13-17.

Nandy DR. Geodynamics of Northeastern India and the Adjoining Region: ACB Publication, Kolkata. 2001:209.

Kumar A, Sanoujam M, Roy LS, Kosigyn L, Singh WAR, Pandey AP. Mw 6.7 earthquake of manipur, NE India: some insights. J. Geological Soc. India. 2016;88:5–12.

Pandey AK, Chingtham P, Roy PNS. Homogeneous earthquake catalogue for Northeast region of India using robust statistical approaches. Geomatics, Nat. Hazards Risk. 2017;8(2):1477–1491.

Sarma KP, Dey T. Re-look on Shillong Plateau. Bulletin of Pure and Applied Sciences. 1996;15(2):51-54.

Kayal JR, Arefiev SS, Baruah S, Hazarika D, Gogoi N, Kumar A, Chowdhury SN, Kalita S. Shillong plateau earthquake in northeast India region: complex tectonic model. Current Science. 2006;91(1):109- 114.

Bhattacharya PM, Mukhopadhyay S, Majumdar RK, Kayal JR. 3-D seismic structure of the Northeast India region and its implications for local and regional tectonics. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. 2008;33:25-41.

Bhattacharya PM, Kayal JR, Baruah S, Arefiev SS. Earthquake source zones in northeast India: seismic tomography, fractal dimension and b-value mapping. Pure and Applied Geophysics; 2010

DOI: 10.1007/s00024-010-0084-2.

Nandy DR, Dasgupta S. Seismotectonic domain of northeastern India and adjacent areas. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth. 1991;18:371-384.

Kayal JR, Arefiev SS, Baruah S, Hazarika D, Gogoi N, Gautam JL, Baruah S, Dorbath C, Tatevossian R. Large and great earthquakes in the Shillong plateau-Assam valley area of Northeast India Region: Pop-up and transverse tectonics. Tectonophysics. 2012;532:186-192.

Kayal JR, Arefiev SS, Baruah S, Tatevossian R, Gogoi N, Sanoujam M, Gautam JL, Hazarika D, Borah D. The 2009 Bhutan and Assam felt earthquakes (Mw 6.3 and 5.1) at the Kopili fault in the northeast Himalaya region. Geomatics Natural Hazards and Risk. 2010;1(3):273-281.

Shanker D, Sharma ML. Estimation of Seismic Hazard Parameters for the Himalayas and its Vicinity from complete data files. Pure & Appld. Geophys. 1998;152(2):267–279.

Parvez IA, Ram A. Probabilistic assessment of earthquake hazards in the Indian Subcontinent. Pure Appld. Geophys. 1999;154(1):23–40.

Shanker D, Papadimitriou EE. Regional time predictable modeling in Hindukush-Pamir- Himalayas region. Tectonophysics. 2004;390:129–140.

Tripathi JN. Probabilistic assessment of earthquake recurrence in the January 26, 2001 earthquake region of Gujarat, India. Jour. Seism. 2006;10:119–130.

Mohanty WK, Walling MY. Seismic hazard in mega city Kolkata, India. Natural Hazards. 2008a;47:39–54.

Mohanty WK, Walling MY. First Order Seismic Microzonation of Haldia, Bengal Basin (India) Using a GIS Platform. Pure Appld. Geophys. 2008b;165:1325–1350.

Mohanty WK, Walling MY. An overview on the seismic zonation and microzonation studies in India. Earth Sci. Rev. 2009;96(1-2):67–91.

Thingbaijam KKS, Nath SK. Estimation of maximum earthquakes in northeast India. Pure and Applied Geophysics. 2008;165(5):889 –901.

Mohapatra AL, Mohanty WK, Verma AK. Estimation of maximum magnitude (Mmax): Impending large earthquakes in northeast region, India. Jour. Geol. Soc. India. 2014;83(6):635-640.

Majumdar D, Dutta P. Geodynamic evolution of a Pan-African granitoid of extended Dizo Valley in Karbi Hills, NE India: Evidence from Geochemistry and Isotope Geology. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. 2016;117:256–268.

Kumar S, Rino V, Hayasaka Y, Kimura K, Raju S, Terada K, Pathak M. Contribution of Columbia and Gondwana Supercontinent assembly and growth-related magmatism in the evolution of Meghalaya Plateau and the Mikir Hills, Northeast India: constraints from U-Pb SHRIMP zircon geochronology and Geochemistry. Lithos. 2017;277:356-375.

Dutta JC, Chowdhury S, Das DP, Sharma SN, Bora A, Sarmah GC. Geology of parts of Karbi Anglong, North Cachar Hills and Nagaon Districts, Assam. Unpublished progress report of GSI. 1993;FS:1991-92.

Mitra SK. Polydeformation of rocks of Shillong group around Sohiong, East Khasi Hills. Indian Journal of Geology. 1989; 70(1&2):123-131.

Devi NR, Sarma KP. Strain Analysis and Stratigraphic Status of Nongkhya, Sumer and Mawmaram Conglomerates of Shillong basin of Meghalaya, India. Journal of Earth System Science. 2010; 119(2):161-174.

Sarma KP, Ahmed M, Goswami TK. Strain analysis of the Nongkhya conglomerate. Indian Minerals. 2001;55(3&4):227-236.

Sarma KP, Venkateshwarlu M, Patil SK, Laskar JJ, Devi NR, Mallikharjuna Rao J. Palaeomagnetic study of Metadolerite dykes and sills from Proterozoic Shillong Basin, NE India. Journal of Geological Society of India. 2014;83(2):147-155.

Majumdar D, Dutta P. Rare earth element abundances in some A-type Pan-African granitoids of Karbi Hills, North East India. Current Science. 2014;107(12):2023–2029.

Pancholi GK, Chandra Sekhar DR. A report on geological traverse across Mikir Hills, Karbi Anglong Dist., Assam. Unpublished progress report of GSI. 1979;FS: 1978-79.

Nag S, Sengupta SK, Gaur RK, Absar A. Alkaline rocks of Samchampi-Samteran, District Karbi Anglong, Assam, India. Proc. Indian Acad. Sci. (Earth Planet. Sci.). 1999;108(1):33-48.

GSI. Seismotectonic Atlas of India and its Environs. Geol. Surv. India Pub. 2000:86-111.

GSI. Geology and mineral resources of Assam. Geological Survey of India, Miscellaneous Publication. 2009; 30(IV):2(i).

Baruah S, Duarah R, Yadav DK. Pattern of Seismicity in Shillong Mikir Plateau and the orientation of compressional axis. Journal of Geological Society of India. 1997; 49:533-538.

Mahanta BN, Syngai BR, Srikarni C, Ahmed M. Manual Extraction and Integration of Lineament Indices for Lineament Analysis in Parts of Lower Dibang Valley, Lohit and Anjaw Districts, Arunachal Pradesh. Journal of Earth Science, Special volume. 2013:142-150.

Bakliwal PC, Ramasamy SM. Lineament Fabric of Rajasthan and Gujarat, India. Rec. Geol. Surv. India (Jaipur). 1987;113(7):54-64.

Duarah BP, Phukan S. Understanding the tectonic behaviour of the Shillong Plateau, India. J. Geol. Soc. India. 2011;77(2):105–112.

Dutta TK. Seismicity of Assam in Relation to Geotectonic Processes- Nature of Instability of the Assam Wedge. Bull. Int. Inst. Sets. and Earth. Eng. 1967;4:63.

Gutenberg B, Richter CF. Seismicity of the Earth, second ed., Princeton University Press, Princeton. 1954.


Rydelek PA, Sacks IS. Testing the completeness of earthquake catalogs and the hypothesis of self-similarity. Nature. 1989;337(6204):251–253.

Woessner J, Wiemer S. Assessing the quality of earthquake catalogues: Estimating the magnitude of completeness and its uncertainty. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 2005;95(2):684–698.

Das R, Wason HR, Sharma ML. Temporal and spatial variations in the magnitude of completeness for homogenized moment magnitude catalog for Northeast India. J. Earth Syst. Sci. 2012;121(1):19–28.

Wiemer S, Wyss M. Minimum magnitude of complete reporting in earthquake catalogs: examples from Alaska, the western United States and Japan. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 2000;90(4):859–869.

Khan PK, Ghosh M. Srivastava VK. Seismic a-value and the Spatial Stress-Level Variation in Northeast India. J. Ind. Geophys. Union. 2009;13(2):49-62.

Tsapanos TM. b-values of two tectonic parts in the Circum-Pacific belt. Pure & App. Geophys. 1990;134(2):229- 242.

Wason HR, Sharma ML, Khan PK, Kapoor K, Nandini D, Kara V. Analysis of aftershocks of the Chamoli Earthquake of March 29, 1999 using broadband seismic data. J. Him. Geol. 2002;23:7-18.

Khan PK. Study of the occurrence of two recent damaging earthquakes and their aftershocks in the Central Himalaya. In National Symposium on Developments in Geophysical Sciences in India, BHU, Varanasi (extended abstract). 2003: 114116.

Kaila KL, Narain H. A new approach for preparation of quantitative seismicity maps applied to Alpide belt-Sunda arc and adjoining areas. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 1971;61(5):1275-1291.

Kaila KL, Madhava Rao N, Narain H. Seismotectonic maps of southwest Asia region comprising Eastern Turkey, Caucasus, Persian Plateau, Afghanistan and Hindukush. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 1974;64(3-1):657-669.

Sharma S, Baruah S, Sahu OP, Bora PK, Duarah R. Low b-value prior to the Indo-Myanmar subduction zone earthquakes and pre-cursory swarm before the May 1995 M 6.3 earthquake. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. 2013;73:176-183.

Scholz CH. The frequency-magnitude relation of microfacturing in rock and its relation to earthquakes. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 1968;58(1): 399-415.

Kayal JR. Microearthquake Seismology and Seismotectonics of South Asia, Springer. 2008;503:273–275.

Singh C, Bhattacharya PM, Chadha RK. Seismicity in Koyna-Warna reservoir site in Western India: fractal and b-value mapping. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 2008;98(1):476–482.

Bhattacharya M, Kayal JR, Baruah S, Arefiev SS. Earthquake source zones in northeast India: seismic tomography, fractal dimension and b-value mapping. In Seismogenesis and earthquake forecasting, The Frank Evison volume II, Springer, Basel. 2010:145-158. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-0346-0500-7_11.